A stalled warm front that triggered re-occuring thunderstorms hit the Jamestown-area between early and mid-morning Wednesday. That led to some flooding... and, a lot of high water across the region. Some 4 to 5 inches of rain fell through mid-morning. The National Weather Service discontinued a Flood Warning for the Chadakoin River at Falconer... and, the river began receeding by early afternoon. That was good news to Mayor David Krieg... who says three homes were temporarily evacuated... but, everyone was back in by early afternoon. He says in all the years he's lived in Falconer... he's never seen flooding this bad. Earlier... Chautauqua County Emergency Dispatchers were asking people to avoid the intersection of Tiffany Avenue and Allen Streets in Jamestown. An eyewitness tells us that cars were stuck in 3 to 4 feet of water in that area. In addition... Krieg says the fire department pumped out a number of basements. Krieg says ALL roads had reopened in Falconer by late afternoon. But... there was still some high water on the Gerry-Levant Road.
The Goose Creek-area of Ashville... and, just west of the village of Lakewood... were also hard hit by flood waters Wednesday. In fact... the Ashville fire chief and a resident say they haven't seen flooding this bad since the Panama Dam broke in 1987. Todd Norris has lived for several years on Route 474 in the hamlet... and, says they're used to some high water and possible flooding each year. Norris says his biggest concern was the appliances in his basement. Norris says that's why he invested in a sump pump to maintain a low-water level in his basement. He says the water rose to about two-feet deep in his front yard... which is higher ground than his neighbors. Fire Chief Charlie Rugg says Norris is one of about 30 homes in that area affected. Rugg says he was called out to the scene about 10 AM after water was seen moving swiftly -- with debris in it -- under the Maple Avenue Bridge -- along Route 474. He says they closed off Maple Avenue before the water went over the span. At one point... Rugg says the water was running almost a half-a-foot over the bridge. Lakewood Fire Crews, meantime, closed off Route 394 from the 'Triangle' with 474 to the Ashville BOCES due to high water in the creek where that bridge is.
The south county has been the primary trouble spot as far flooding and high water Wednesday. The Chadakoin River runs through the city of Jamestown... but, problems weren't as been as bad there as in Falconer. Mayor Sam Teresi says one house on Hallock Street had to be evacuated due to high water... but, he says the situation isn't new to city officials. He adds the city Fire and Police Departments were on high-alert... along with the Public Works Department... and, the Board of Public Utilities. He says the typical areas where high water and flood can take place have been the problem areas... including Jones and Gifford Avenue... and Buffalo Street at Blackstone Avenue. Fire officials say they had 90 basements to pump out yesterday and last night.
A north county banker and businessman has been tapped to be Chautauqua County's new administrative director and Chief Executive Officer of the Industrial Development Agency. In announcing the appointment of Kevin Sandvidge... County Executive Vince Horrigan says he will also serve in the dual role of director of the county's Planning and Economic Development Department. Horrigan says Sandvidge will begins his new position on May 27th... and, will replace the retiring William Daly. He says Sandvidge is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Lake Shore Savings Bank. Horrigan adds he is also a member of the Board of Directors of ECR International Corporation. He is also a past board Chairman of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce. Sandvidge previously held management positions for Cliffstar Corporation... and, Al Tech Specialty Steel.
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly trafficking marijuana and illegal narcotics from a southside home. City police say investigators and members of of the State Police C-NET Team raided a home at 75 Barrett Avenue... and, took 37 year-old McKinley Barnes into custody. Police officials say officers found half-a-pound of pot... a quantity of Fentanyl patches... and, a large amount of cash inside the apartment. Officers say Barnes is charged with Felony criminal possession of a controlled substance... and fourth-degree criminal possession of marijuana. He was taken to the city jail where he's awaiting arraignment. Police say anyone with information on the illegal sale of drugs can call the JPD Tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has picked former Congresswoman Kathy Hochul (HOE-kuhl) of Buffalo as his choice to be New York's next lieutenant governor. Cuomo made the announcement Wednesday with a video played at the state Democratic convention on Long Island. Hochul was elected to the U.S. House in 2010 and served one term. She is now an M&T Bank vice president. Cuomo says Hochul knows government and business and brings added perspective to the campaign as a western New York resident and this year's only female statewide candidate from a major party. Current Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy is not seeking another term. Democrats will nominate Cuomo and Hochul on Thursday. This fall they face Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino, the Westchester County executive, and his running mate, Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss.
New York voters have approved 98 percent of school budgets proposed for next year, including 14 that will increase taxes beyond a state-imposed cap. The New York State School Boards Association says preliminary results show voters Tuesday passed 652 budgets and defeated 11, with 13 districts' results outstanding. On average... the budgets increase spending by 2.6 percent and raise the tax levy by 1.98 percent -- the average limit under New York's tax cap formula.